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Poker News | World Series of Poker | WSOP2008 | Poker Personalities

Fish Wins Bracelet – A Conversation With Scott Seiver

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I first met Scott Seiver at the 2007 World Series of Poker. I noticed this jolly, happy go lucky guy playing poker, laughing, and having a good time. He looked like he'd be more at home as an extra in a Chris Farley or Adam Sandler movie than at a poker table. He didn't win any tournaments but he cashed in three events including a 44th and 32nd place finish. He is good friends with Isaac Haxton and Alex Melnikow and I would often find the three of them talking and cheering one another on.

When I came to the WSOP this year, Scott was one of the first people to wave and talk to me. In a huge world filled with different personalities, Scott's is one of the more refreshing ones. When he won the $5,000 NLHE event last week, I was thrilled to see a true, good guy get something good coming back to him. Scott took the time over a break from the $2,000 PLHE tournament to talk with me about his win and poker.

AH: Was winning the bracelet a big deal?

Scott:
Not as big a deal as I thought it would be. I mean every poker player, especially ones that play tournaments, say this is the ultimate goal and don't get me wrong it's nice, but it hasn't been life changing. It hasn't made me want to play a tournament more or less. It hasn't changed my attitude about anything.

AH: Has the money made a difference?

Scott:
That part hasn't really sunk in yet. I live a really cheap life. I mean look at me (Scott points to his attire for the day, wrinkled khaki shorts and a short sleeve blue striped polo shirt). The money isn't going to go into my poker bankroll, I'm going to set it aside and invest it, so in that way it will make a difference.

AH: What's your background in poker?

Scott:
I've known the rules of poker for about four years but I really only started playing professionally about 18 months ago. I mainly play 25/50 and 50/100 cash games online now under the names of GunningForYou on Pokerstars and MasterBlaster on FullTilt. I started playing when a friend of mine said to me that I'd be really good at poker because I was good at math and he backed me in some tournaments and I made the final table at a Party Poker Million and that got me started. I've gone broke four of five times though. The first few times it was because I was treating it like a bullshit hobby and picking the wrong games and not playing right. Last September, I had a bankroll of 70K and had built it up to almost 110K and I lost it all over the next couple of months. That was because I was running bad and I know poker players will use that as an excuse when they lose, but I've lost before and I knew the difference. I started with 12K in January, and this year has been a different story.

AH: Do you prefer cash games to tournaments? Why do you play tournaments?

Scott:
I do but tournaments are a nice break from cash games and they are fun. There is more of an adrenaline rush in a tournament than in a cash game. I don't play too many tournaments, mainly the World Series and four or five big events a year. Cash games are a much easier way to make a living playing poker.

AH: You always seem like you are in a good mood even when you are losing, why is this?

Scott:
I'm outgoing and I like talking. Winning or losing at poker isn't going to change that. The thing I like about live poker is that people can't leave. They are forced to sit next to me and talk to me. Why else am I paying these buy ins? I'm buying someone's friendship for a couple of hours. (Scott laughs as he says this)

AH: What would you say is your biggest strength?

Scott:
I don't tilt. I mean I'll get mad or frustrated but I don't let it affect how I play. Usually when I get upset it is because I made a bad play and I am mad at myself, but even then I won't let it tilt me to the point where I play bad.

AH: Would you say you read people well playing live?

Scott:
No I wouldn't say that. What I do well is understand the different situations that arise, player's tendencies, and being able to put people on a range of hands. It's more about the probability of a player having such and such a hand rather than some movement or behavior they show.

AH: I was talking to a player the other day as you were getting near the final table and he said to me, “Scott is the biggest calling station I know.” What do you think of that?

Scott
(laughing): That's so true. I call a lot. People think I'm a calling station but it's because it's often correct to do so given the size of the pot and people's tendency to bluff. Too many poker players can't just check. They have to bet their 8 high because they don't want to show it, so when I am calling it is usually because it is mathematically correct and while I might lose money calling on this one hand, over the long run I'm going to make money because the majority of the time my hand is better than theirs.

AH: What would you say is the best part about winning a bracelet?

Scott:
Last year it would bother me if I busted out early. Now it's no big deal. I just smile, and say to everyone “see you tomorrow.”

AH: Is this your biggest achievement in poker?

Scott:
Oh yeah, by far. I've cashed for 6 figures before in some online tournaments but none of them come close to this.

AH: What's next? Do you want to win the Main Event?

Scott:
No, I don't want to win (laughs). Yea, that's what every poker player dreams of.

AH: Do you think the Main Event suits your style of play?

Scott:
Yea, I do. A lot of times weaker players play these events for the experience or it's their first 10K buy in tournament and they are more concerned with surviving rather than winning. I make friends with these players, talk to them, and it kind of becomes an ‘us versus the other side of the table’ deal and I can use this to my advantage.

AH: How would you classify your playing style?

Scott
(laughs again): I play lots of hands. I am a fish. (I tell Scott I am going to title the article “Fish wins bracelet” and he says, “That's perfect, I want an article like that written about me.”)

AH: Last question Scott... what would you say is your biggest weakness?

Scott:
I know I call too much and while it's good a lot of the time I need to make it more situational. I don't make it situational enough.

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